Hardly strangers to controversy it seems controversy is what keeps the daytime talk show panel on the air so it isn’t really a surprise to find The View in some kind of Hollywood hot water; whether its Elisabeth Hassselbeck’s conservative feuds with Rosie O’Donnell, hastily exiting hosts, Whoopi Goldberg’s thoughts on things like Bill Cosby, whose angering show founder Barbra Walters, it all seems par for the course. Ratings gold for a show in its 19th season; what can be surprising it what sets off controversy, seemingly benign statements, simple observations. Take the panels conversation on the Miss America pageant, discussing highlights including the oddity of one contestant who held a career as a nurse thus performing a monologue, in her scrubs, complete with stethoscope; this drawing varied comments from the women wondering why she had “a doctors stethoscope,” how bizarre it was this young woman got up there and “read her e-mails basically” for the talent portion of the completion. Hints the comment that got Joy Behar and the entire show into huge trouble with the public when the former said nursing wasn’t a talent leading to huge backlash on social media, a twitter campaign garnering overwhelming support for nurses and the biggie, sponsors Johnson & Johnsons and Eggland’s Best pulling their ads from the show. Even after apologies and showcasing nurses on the show to demonstrate their true intentions with the comments, people are still talking; probably not the return to the show Behar was hoping for.
Except everyone knew Joy Behar wasn’t denigrating nurses, none of the women were; they were making comment, poking fun that this blond, fulfilling a stereotype all the way, thought what she did an appropriate talent for the type of competition she entered. Which it obviously wasn’t put alongside someone who sang beautiful opera, another person who played a new kind of violin; it doesn’t even hold a candle to Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality where she played an undercover cop on assignment in a beauty pageant and put together a melody using glasses filled with varying amounts of water during her talent portion, or when someone drank her talent did an improvised demonstration of self-defense techniques, the key being improvised. Keeping in mind that was an action/comedy movie in a lesser pageant to boot not the prestigious, in that arena, Miss America competition. No one in the slightest tried to suggest being a nurse is not a talent, outside a standard talent competition where you expect singing, dancing, perhaps juggling, it wouldn’t even pass muster on America’s Got Talent where the purposefully look for non- traditional acts to both showcase and award, or question what a nurse does with a stethoscope daily on their important, often lifesaving, job. They were questioning an apparently ditzy blond who, surprise, surprise didn’t win Miss America; we are the ones who took it too far.
Twitter protests are nothing new good or bad, but for Eggland’s Best, Johnson & Johnsons to subsequently pull out of advertising deals with the show only lends credence to the ridiculous, only fuels online, viral stupidity. It only helps create, fuel the hyper sensitive culture we laugh at millennials for perpetuating, but Eggland’s Best and Johnson & Johnsons aren’t run by millennials, so what does that say about the true source of sensitivity and over dramatizing? That The View co-hosts had to turn around and issue a clarification/apology to explain their comments proves the support nurses followers are the “stupid cows” not the women panelists of the show. They made a joke, made fun of something that should be made fun of a contest still celebrating women, in the 21st century, singularly for their beauty, for their ability to measure up to a subjective standard of attractiveness. And when someone behaving stupidly, by participating alone, couldn’t even come up with a talent commiserate with the competition they entered by choice, they called them on it having a good laugh in the meantime.